Sunday, February 8, 2009

More Birds

There are even more birds here this week. The sooty terns are landing in the afternoons and evenings, and making a lot of noise. We have a plane next week for a volunteer changeout, so I hope the birds don't stay on the runway until after that.

The weather was finally nice enough to get out and make sure everything was good on the other islands. We did a marine debris pickup on East island and brought back a full boat load of bottles, floats, shoes, toothbrushes, lighters, and various other plastic things. I probably should have taken a picture. I'll get one next time. There's no shortage of trash to pick up over there. We also stopped by La Perouse pinnacle and tried to do some snorkeling. The swells were pretty big so the visibility wasn't very good. We didn't stay long. But it was nice to get out and look around the atoll.
The sooty terns are crowding onto the runway.
This isn't the place to come if you don't like birds.

The albatross chicks are starting to be left on their own.

Here's a vagrant bird that showed up recently. It's a Glaucous-winged gull in it's first winter plumage. I hope it does better than the ducks do when they accidentally fly here.

I've been taking a lot of frigatebird pictures lately, since they are pretty interesting right now. This male (on the shrub) is displaying for the female, who checked him out for a couple of seconds, but I guess she thought she could do better and flew off.

Here's another picture of the facilities. This is our "library", also where we eat meals. We've got a lot of pretty random books here that people have left. It's similar to Midway's library, where you have to make sure the bookworms/termites haven't started reading them first.


Nellie Northern said...

Great Shots Pete! The birds on the runway is most interestng.

Nelson Klavitter

Brian Gregoire said...

Hey Pete, what do you do if a plane wants to land now? Do you have to clear the runway or does the pilot just pray he does not hit a couple of hundred birds?


Pete Leary said...

Thanks Nelson, at least the plane to Midway can land at night when the birds aren't flying as much, and all the sooty's stay on Eastern Island.

Brian, we start chasing birds off of the runway about 45 minutes before the plane lands. The problem is they still fly over the runway. We stop the flights over the summer because of the sooty's and just use ships.

Brian Gregoire said...

Pete, Cool. So is there anywhere to walk at all during the summer without stepping on a bird?


Pete Leary said...

You honestly do have to watch your step. Even if you don't see a bird, you still might cave in a petrel burrow and step on one.

Anonymous said...

the frigates...ahhh...the lovely frigates. they are so much fun to watch right now. -kelli